The Tar Pit

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

More Bush Budget Border Hypocrisy:
scraps SCAAP funding he demanded as Governor

The Budget Request that President Bush submitted yesterday seeks the complete elimination of the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), which reimburses sate governments for the costs of incarcerating illegal aliens.

From page 201 of OMB pdf file explaining the rationale for eliminating the SCAAP:

The President's Budget reduces or eliminates a number of programs that do not have a record of demonstrating results, including:


State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) grants, which serve as a form of revenue sharing rather than assistance assigned to a particular need. A 2005 PART assessment rated SCAAP as Results Not Demonstrated. Ending this program will save $301 million a year.

Also, according to the Los Angeles Daily News:

The White House argues that SCAAP funding is no longer necessary because it's beefing up security on the nation's borders.

Oh really? The President's 2006 Budget Request shortchanges new Border Patrol hiring by 90%. According to Admiral James Loy, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security: was simply recognized that the 210 for this year is a reflection of millions of dollars of additional emphasis on that particular corner, and also recognition that we need to balance those things as we go on down the road with other priorities.

It's not immediately clear whether a failure by the Bush Administration to hire all 2,000 of the promised new BP agents would be balanced by expanded funding for the very successful Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) border surveillance program, which was suspended last month, pending "evaluation."

Admiral Loy didn't mention the UAVs at all yesterday. In a separate DHS press release on the President's Budget Request, the section on "Revolutionizing the Borders" makes no mention of an increased appropriation for border drone surveillance by UAVs. In fact, the most recent DHS press release on border drones predates the trial program which began last year and ended last month.

How successful was the Border Drone program? In less than six months -- at a cost well below the program's $10 million budget for 2005 -- four drones monitored more than 850,000 illegal border crossings over a portion of the Arizona border. However, the surveillance led to only 1,252 apprehensions of illegal aliens.

Quite obviously, more drones and more Border Patrol manpower underneath those drones would lead to thousands more apprehensions of illegal aliens every year (Memo to President Bush: I just saved millions of dollars on the program's evaluation). Yet the President continues to pursue policies that leave the border open to trespass by illegal aliens, while justifying his hypocritical attempt to cut federal reimbursements to states whose prisons are filled with illegal aliens.

Yes, hypocritical, because when Bush was Governor of Texas:

In 1995, his press secretary, Karen Hughes, issued a statement regarding Bush's support of a legal appeal by Texas Attorney General Dan Morales to recover $1.34 billion spent by his state on incarceration and education of illegal immigrants.

"It's not fair to the taxpayers of Texas to stick them with the bill when the government fails to enforce immigration laws," Hughes said to reporters then.

And Karen Hughes wasn't talking out of turn:

"Said Gov. Bush in 1995 while suing Washington for $5 billion: 'If the federal government cannot do its job of enforcing the borders, then it owes the states monies to pay for its failure.'

That's right, when Bush was Governor the State of Texas sued the federal government for reimbursement of the costs of incarcerating illegal aliens, yet there are millions more illegal aliens in the United States now than when Bill Clinton was President.

Given the floods of illegal aliens that have not abated but increased in the last four years, given the President's efforts to thwart new Border Patrol hiring, and given that despite federal law, the Bush Administration refuses to deport convicted illegal alien rapists, murderers, and child molesters, would Texas Governor George W. Bush say that the Administration of President George W. Bush is failing to "do its job of enforcing the borders?"